Iron in Cyanobacteria

Chana Kranzler, Mareike Rudolf, Nir Keren*, Enrico Schleiff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Approximately 40% of global photosynthesis is conducted by phytoplankton in aquatic environments. Cyanobacteria, Gram-negative photoautotrophic prokaryotes, contribute. significantly to this fraction and require large amounts of the essential micronutrient iron in order to maintain their Fe-rich photosynthetic apparatus. Cyanobacterial iron requirements exceed non-photosynthetic prokaryotes by ∼10-fold and are exceptionally high even among other photosynthetic organisms. The genomes of cyanobacterial species code for a multitude of iron transporters, iron storage complexes and iron-responsive elements involved in maintaining homeostasis in a highly variable environment. In this chapter, we will review iron transport strategies, the maintenance of intracellular homeostasis and iron limitation responses of cyanobacteria while taking into account the chemistry and environmental bioavailability of iron species.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAdvances in Botanical Research
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages49
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameAdvances in Botanical Research
ISSN (Print)0065-2296

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Oliver Mirus for help during figure preparation. Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) to E.S. and from the Israeli Science Foundation (grant no. 806/11 ) to N.K. is acknowledged.


  • Homeostasis
  • Iron
  • Iron-dependant transcriptional regulation
  • Membrane transport
  • Oxidative stress
  • Photosynthesis
  • Siderophores


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